Earlier this week, Ring of Honor announced that they will be holding a joint card with NJPW called G1 Supercard at Madison Square Garden during WrestleMania weekend on Saturday, April 6, 2019. That same night, WWE will be presenting NXT TakeOver six miles away at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
As noted, Raj looked for the last time a non-WWE pro wrestling show was held at the Garden, and it appears that it has never happened since the formation of the company in 1963 as the WWWF. Before that, the NWA Capitol Wrestling Corporation would exclusively run the Garden, however that was still owned by Vince McMahon Sr. (and Joseph "Toots" Mondt) and was the precursor to the WWWF. Before that, you'd have to go to 1957 when Manhattan Wrestling Enterprises stopped running the Garden, which was owned by Mondt.
WCW did hold an event at the Paramount Theater (now called the Hulu Theater) in 1996, which is a 5,000 seat facility located beneath the Madison Square Garden arena, but not at the arena itself.
"It certainly changed the landscape in the thinking of what is is possible and I think in this world of possibility I think they really clearly illuminated what is a possible," Koff told The Post in a phone interview. "I think if there was 'All In' or not, because of the weekend and what it represents, and our involvement always in that weekend, we probably would have thought a little more cautiously about the size of the crowd. ['All In'] certainly didn't hurt."
Koff then revealed after the back-and-forth of initially having a date - the not having a date, after reportedly a call came from WWE - MSG returned and wanted to work things out with Ring of Honor.
"I think that's a question better asked of Madison Square Garden because we were very aggressive in wanting that date and we thought we had that date, but we did what we had to do as a business," Koff said. "[MSG] did what they had to do as a business and I guess all of a sudden there was a phone call and we were able to work it out. … That's probably their story to tell because they made the call [to us] and said let's get on the phone and see if we can work this out. They wanted us. They knew that we would be good promotion. I think they were just looking for a satisfactory outcome for all parties."
Being WrestleMania weekend, Koff noted if WWE's biggest event of the year was held elsewhere, we'd be having a very different conversation.
"It came down to this is where it [WrestleMania] was," Koff said. "This could be a whole different conversation if it were in Boston or Chicago. This is the site that was chosen for that big weekend and then we had to look for buildings to accommodate what we think would be the best opportunity for our business and for our fans."
Since the big announcement, WWE provided a statement about MSG and ROH working together.
"MSG is, of course, free to work with ROH however they want."